Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Today I just want to do a quick little post regarding glass engraving. Surprisingly this is something which most people I encounter (outside of vanning circles) have never seen, especially on a vehicle, but is actually pretty common amongst custom vans. It's a bit like giving it a tattoo, as it is permanent. It's a pretty cool way to dress up a window, or any other piece of glass. My first attempt at this was to do the vent windows in my van. First I had to decide what I wanted to put on, and to me the choice was obvious. Mermaids. I love them, ever since I was a kid. What can I say, it's a naked woman with a fish tail? ...anyway. There are several ways to go about doing this. You can sandblast the glass, which can be a messy job, and really requires a booth or to be outdoors, or use one of two types of engravers.
There is the 'hammer style' which works a lot like a tattoo gun and has a sharp tip on it which marks the surface of what you are engraving. To me those are a little harder to control and I can't make as straight a line with it.
The other type is the 'rotary' type of tool, which is just your standard Dremel tool. I use diamond tip bits to do the engraving.
Once you have decided what you want, and what you are going to use, the next step (for me) is finding a design that 'fits' the window. I used a design by Olivia, and changed it around a bit. The original was shorter haired, bare breasted, and had no scales. (not that I objected to any of that, I just wanted it a little different) So I changed the hair, added starfish (which I like better than the typical scallop shells or what have you) and added scales.
After it was the way I liked it, I engraved it on the window. The result is what you see here.

here's a detail

I was really happy with the result, so I reversed the image and did an identical one on the other door. (sorry the picture quality sucks. I only had my phone to take the picture then)

The cool thing about glass engraving is the effect it has under different light. Normaly it just looks like white lines, but if you look at it against a lighter back ground than the line (say the sky for instance) it looks like a pencil drawing.

It can be done on any type of glass too. This christmas we gave pint glasses to people with different engravings on them. Here is an example of one of the ones we gave the breeders we got Finnegan from. This is a picutre of his mother.

I still have a lot to learn about this, but I am having fun doing it so far. I am picking away at a large piece (which if I keep going at the rate I am I'll be 90 when it's done) of the Fellowship of the Ring depicting the entrance to Moria.
Thanks for looking.
Kirk Out!


Becca said...

Wow that is so cool. I admit I've never seen this before and really never even thought of it.

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